Sustainability

  • Eighty-six percent of MIT commutes to campus in ways other than driving alone in a car, such as by using public transportation, or by bicycling, walking, and ride-sharing to work.
  • Through its Access MIT program, the Institute provides generous subsidies for low-carbon commuting—including subway, bus, bicycling, and commuter rail.
  • MIT sponsors two Hubway bike rental stations on campus, and four more rental stations are accessible to campus. MIT also provides Hubway membership subsidies for employees and students.
  • In 2016, MIT partnered with Boston Medical Center and Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation on a Power Purchase Agreement and now purchases electricity from Summit Farms, a 650-acre (2.63-km2), 60-megawatt solar farm in North Carolina.
  • MIT offers 132 courses related to sustainability, opportunities to integrate the campus as a living lab into research projects and coursework, and an undergraduate minor in environment and sustainability.
  • MIT has many offices, programs, centers, and initiatives working every day to address climate change, ranging from the MIT Office of Sustainability, the Environmental Solutions Initiative, the Climate CoLab, and many more. Visit climateaction.mit.edu to learn more.

MIT is committed to leadership in sustainability and strong climate action at the local level, making strides to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the MIT campus, using the campus itself as a test bed for sustainability innovation and education, and partnering with the cities of Cambridge and Boston.

In a five-year Plan for Action on Climate Change released in 2015, the Institute set a goal to reduce its campus emissions by at least 32% below 2014 levels by 2030 and to strive to reach carbon neutrality as soon as possible. From 2014 through 2017, MIT has reduced its total emissions by 16%. MIT’s off-site renewable energy project contributed 9% of the reduction in 2017, and on-campus measures have reduced emissions 7% since 2014. MIT’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy lays out a roadmap and a timeline for implementing its highest-priority measures over the next five years, providing a clear pathway toward achieving the Institute’s near-term emissions reduction goals.

New construction and major renovation projects on campus aim to meet the national LEED Gold (version 4) certification standard, reflecting MIT’s dedication to building healthy, high-performance facilities that meet high standards of sustainability. To date, eight buildings have achieved LEED Gold Certification, and the Morris and Sophie Chang Building (E52) recently earned LEED Platinum Certification. MIT’s proactive Capital Renewal program is engaged in continuous renewal and renovation projects that ensure the buildings are able to support the community’s educational, research, and student life activities.

MIT has a vibrant ecosystem of student and staff groups promoting sustainability on campus, such as the Graduate Student Council and Undergraduate Association's committees on sustainability, as well as the Working Green Committee, Staff for Sustainability. Initiatives range from a monthly swapfest called Choose to Reuse to student hackathons, which engage students, industry, and thought partners in finding real-life solutions to sustainability challenges.

As a founding member of the Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future, MIT works with Cambridge, Harvard University, and more than 15 local businesses and organizations to achieve a more healthy, livable, and sustainable future. MIT is also a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission.